United We Stand

Earlier this week, United Airlines forceably removed Dr. David Dao, sixty-nine years old, as he was seated in a plane at Chicago O'Hare. Their reason was that the seats were needed for employees heading to another flight, which may have cause that flight to be cancelled. When no passengers volunteered to step down, some were selected involuntarily. One of those passengers was Dr. Dao, who refused, stating he had patients he needed to care for. What followed was a horrific scene of the bloodied man being dragged down the aisle of the plane. After this incident which has caused international attention, United's CEO, Oscar Munoz, chose to lay blame on the passenger and only apologize that someone had to be "re-accommodated" (Mr. Munoz did manage to apologize later, after much uproar and a dive in the value of United's shares).

As Christians, there are lessons to be learned from this story about our journey in this world, and the role we play in it:

1) Beyond doctrine, worship styles, regional backgrounds, and political viewpoints, the one thing that we have in common is that we are all sinners who need God's forgiveness. In this, United We Stand. No matter what practices we may put in place to live right (as United has probably tried to do, and we certainly should), it is at the base of our nature, and we are just not going to be perfect. Sometimes, we will even fail terribly, "for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 WEB). The sooner we know this, the sooner we can let God be the driver in our lives. The alternative is for us to drive and ask God to tow us out of the ditch periodically :).

2) The world is watching us, and will often record us as well. "What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? (James 2:14 WEB). People will know if our words to not match our actions. We are better off just acknowledging our shortcomings, rather than claim to be more mature than we are and cause others to stumble through our hypocrisy.

3) Lucifer's rebellion gave pride the "honor" of being the original sin. Let's not allow it to prevent us from repenting for our misdeeds. For instance, in contrast to United's actions, the CEO of Korean Air gave a humble and full apology in 2014, when his own daughter caused an incident, which quickly defused the situation. If we repent immediately and allow God to help us, it will save us a lot of heartache. Let's not try to deflect by blaming others or minimize with fake words like United's "re-accommodate". God already knows anyway, and all He wants to do is help us overcome, so let's let Him! 

Just as the United Airlines incident has been a disaster for the company's financial health, letting our sin eat at us is toxic for our spiritual, mental and even physical health. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 WEB). I encourage you to humbly give it to Jesus, and let Him help you to overcome through His grace, power and love!

Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org